Student’s World Photo Diary Presentation

Nicole Hennig

Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre.

CIL 2007

Nicole Hennig
MIT Libraries
Student’s World: Photo Diary Study

[my comments in brackets]

Students tracked their info seeking behaviors for a week. There were 16 undergrads and 16 grad students. They were asked to take pictures and then completed a survey at the end of the week.

Some of the statistics were interesting:

75% of undergrad tasks were about completing coursework
most of grad activity was on research for their thesis or dissertation [I missed the number]

Did the students think they were successful?
Grads 86%
Undergrads 93%

Did the librarians think they were successful?
Grads 77%
Ungergrads 85%

When they were searching for a topic, the librarians thought they were a lot less efficient then what the students thought. Librarians have knowledge of specialized databases and resources that the students did not know about. People go where they know first: Google, Wikipedia, and people they know. But they did not go to librarians; no one all week asked a librarian a question, in person or otherwise. {I am not surprised by this at all]

Students want a faceted search and the MIT Libraries has started looking at options for this. [good for them!] They also want a federated search for their licensed content. They want it to be self-teaching so that students can still “do it themselves.” Nicole uses the example of the interface of Library Thing which allows people to review items. MIT also wants a multi-university tagging system, like an expanded version of Penn Tags.

They are trying to find new ways to reach students in tools they are already using, like Google and Firefox. Nicole uses the example of LibX, an extension from Firefox that MIT has had great success using.

They created a page for their Betas: MIT Libraries’ Beta. [I like that they are actually creating a culture where their librarians can experiment. They want to try new things and they are giving their employees the ability to succeed and fail. Many libraries still have to learn this. Even if you want to be innovative, or you think you are innovative, and you are not providing a space to play, fail, and succeed, you are not allowing your employees to innovate. Giving a space to innovation matters. Giving time to innovation matters.]

[Great study. This is a study that could be duplicated anywhere.]

Responses to Q&A – [Oh!] Nicole says she would like all their librarians to have blogs and put their pictures on Flickr. [hooray!]

They compensated the students with a $50 gift card to Amazon. For their usual studies they give $15 gift certificates. [Nice.]

–Jane, time to pack up